Explorers Program Fosters Firefighters

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The Columbia Heights Fire Explorers program saw one of its members graduate to full-fledged firefighter this week.

Katherine Larson, who had been a member of the Explorers program since she was 14, was one of 37 students to graduate from the Anoka County Fire Academy Tuesday.

This is a great example of how the Explorers program opens career doors for young people, said John Larkin, assistant fire chief.

The Explorer Division, an offshoot of the Boy Scouts of America, is made up of young people between the ages of 14 and 20 who have an interest in fire and emergency medical services. Members of the fire department serve as advisers and are responsible for the teaching and supervision of the Explorers during various activities and training.

Explorers take part in weekly drills and train side-by-side with the fire department staff. They also attend community and educational events. Explorers are allowed to provide backline support during fire ground operations. Tasks such as traffic and crowd control, tool and equipment running, first-aid applications, and a host of other valuable resources during emergency calls are just some of the duties performed by Explorers.

This is the 40th Anniversary Year of the Columbia Heights Fire Explorers program. The Columbia Heights Fire Department Explorer Division was organized in 1978 through the cooperation of then fire chief Don Johnson, and several fire fighters. Current Fire Chief Gary Gorman also started out as an Explorer.

If you are interested in learning more, would like to become a Columbia Heights Fire Explorer, or know someone who might, please contact the fire department at (763) 706-8150.

Photo Caption: Now and then...
Explorers Today revised
Vintage